As we previously reported, in April 2020, State Rep. Darren Bailey won a temporary restraining order (TRO) in Clay County against Gov. Pritzker’s executive orders related to COVID-19 on the grounds that the Governor only had authority to issue orders under a single disaster proclamation lasting 30 days. That order only applied to block the Governor’s disaster proclamations as they applied to Rep. Bailey. After the Governor appealed, Rep. Bailey withdrew the TRO and filed a new complaint with similar allegations. Bailey won another judgment against Pritzker on July 2, 2020; Judge McHaney of Clay County stated that the governor’s exercise of emergency powers under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act (IEMAA) lapsed on April 8, 2020, and any executive orders after that date related to COVID-19 were void.
The Illinois Supreme Court removed the action from Clay County to Sangamon County (where Springfield is located). Before the Sangamon County Court, Pritzker filed a motion for reconsideration of the July 2 judgment against him. On December 21, a Sangamon County judge granted Pritzker’s motion and held that Pritzker had the authority to issue COVID-19-related executive orders for more than just one 30-day period of time. The court held that IEMAA authorizes the Governor to issue successive disaster proclamations stemming from one ongoing disaster.
Compliance with federal, state, and local mandates regarding COVID-19 is an ever-moving target, as such mandates frequently are the subject of lawsuits. Contact any Hodges Loizzi attorney to discuss questions about compliance with these mandates.